Is homework good for students?

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Does homework actually help students in school? (Photo by Aynsleigh Penland)

Jamie Chaney, Staff Writer

Is homework good for students? Upon hearing this question one may believe that the answer is simple. One may say, “Yes! It helps with memorizing curriculum,” but another may say, “No! It deprives me of work and personal time, and it’s an incredible source of stress in my life.”

Once one hears two arguments like these, with both sides equally as sure of their own correctness, it becomes clear that this argument may not be as obvious and straightforward as one is initially led to believe. This is something I had to come to terms with after I expected this article to be a clear statement of my strong belief that homework negatively impacts students but rather ended up finding a much more logical middle ground founded on the complexity of the situation.

The truth is that assigning homework has been linked to higher quiz and test scores, but this is only part of the truth. In reality, homework has actually been shown to be something initially successful that ends up turning into a battle of diminishing returns. This on average starts occurring after an hour and a half, according to articles published by both Duke Today and Boston University.

The other negative aspects of homework exist outside of this quadratic function, though, as they will always be so ever present. These are more or less things backed up by logic rather than study, but the amount of homework assigned by the majority of teachers ends up creating a frustrating situation where students may end up being left with little to no free time, piling stress, and possibly even failing grades if they’re unable to carry the workload. This is, of course, all made worse ten fold for students who want to hold down a job.

Now, I’m not saying that the answer is something as extreme as teachers no longer giving any homework, as I said, it does increase test scores, but what I am saying is that teachers should show restraint when assigning homework. This means no more three to four page packets and being more light on the volume of questions covering the more difficult parts of a unit.

Homework isn’t an inherently bad thing, and to be honest, I’m sure it’s helped me out in the past, but I would dare say that teachers have a responsibility to their students to be considerate when choosing the work that they assign to students as homework. After all, our health is more important than our grades, right?